From smack-bang in the middle of the bell curve

Archive for April, 2006|Monthly archive page

deja vu..all over again

In ISB, life on April 26, 2006 at 9:08 pm

It’s official…Ya Ali is the Kajra Re of 2006! Ok, for those who’re wondering if I’ve completely lost it, had been to my first party post-ISB. The open air, the man-sized speakers (and i’m not alluding to individual organs), a DJ who ‘seamlessly’ shifted between trance and the latest hindi hip-busters, a booze counter that was easily the most popular area…and get this…a tiled dance-floor…u know..the kind made up of infinite tiny pieces of bathroom tiles?! weird…but for some of you reading this, the resemblance to any ISB party would’ve jumped off the screen to make itself obvious. Except there was only one ISBian around…ok…maybe a couple from the IIM’s but since when do they count! 😉 Was still fun…some very old friends…some brand new ones…Another distinct difference was I couldn’t keep raiding the booze counter (it was free of course), simply coz I’d then have the unenviable task of explaining to mom why I was weaving to and fro on my way to bed. But, fun nevertheless. No such qualms starting tomorrow for the duration of the weekend…especially on the various roof-top restaurants in the city with the surprisingly beautiful but deserted beaches (well, as of four years ago)…zubhaan allah…blame fm and all those fanaa promos
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Many Many Happy Returns…

In life on April 24, 2006 at 7:51 pm

Seems just like yesterday that he was sported those misbehaving curls and that voice that hadn’t been scratched up by puberty. Well…it kinda was…and while the curls have been replaced by a much trendier haircut, puberty missed that voice on its way through. Had a glimpse of him as he cut this l’il square handkerchief sized cake with a posse of khaki-clad on either side. Well, if that cake had to be large enough for all his well-wishers, it’d have to be about the size of mount everest i think. Happy Birthday on your 33rd SRT!

Incidentally, met a guy who’d opened the batting with the man in school. He even sported a 3 inch wide stitch under his chin where he’d been struck by, hold your breath, a Tendulkar bouncer! Shook his hand and asked “Is he as special as he seems?” He looked at me, knew I wasn’t talking about his batting, said “Every bit as he seems”. He then shot me a question “You still think he’s good, inspite of everything in the last couple of years?”, staring intently waiting for an answer. The fact that he might be a prospective boss didn’t matter as i answered “He could not score a run for the rest of his career, and, he’ll remain the best ever for me”. Wonder how many times I’ve said that!

On a less significant note, the date of April 24th has always served as a mnemonic for me to remember the other date…25th, so I’d remember that the one synthesized from genetic material irradiated to mutate into pure evil, sent only to make my life a living (sometimes, maybe not even that) hell through my adolescent years, my sibling was born on this date. Happy B’day Sis! Pity you ain’t around so I could’ve gifted you those gucci pumps!

p.s: as is very clear, the language used in this post is not suitable for younger sisters…for those who’ve had the misfortune of knowing us both, trust you to maintain the peace…else…remember i know where you live…so i can thank you of course!

De-men-t-ed(or)

In life on April 23, 2006 at 1:39 pm

I was out for a jog around the neighbourhood…as usual minding my own business…making good time over the hard tarmac…the evening light diffusing into twilight…when it happened. They appeared out of nowhere…silent as gestures…their faces hooded…their full-length robes making it look like they were gliding over the ground. I saw the one ahead…and felt rather than heard the two coming up behind. Somehow, instead of wondering why these individuals were so overdressed for the balmy weather, my mind immediately searched for a happy thought. Not the easiest thing in the world to do, atleast not always…but I knew I had to…though…to focus on that one happy thought…no matter how impossible it felt…feels…will muster that thought…raise my wand (no pun here)…and announce “Expecto Patronum…”

Ok…this is what happens when you go through five of Rowling’s books in under a month…and while i have no claims of being a fan…the metaphors, if you so choose, are well…kinda apt…to normal ‘muggle’ life. Strange thing this, the human mind, seems to go into free-falls with the most inane thoughts and emotions. No reason whatsoever…Well…but they’re there…entities that suck the happiness and more importantly, hope out of you. that ‘patronus’ better emerge…and fast…its needed…and this is an emergency…

nude cricket neone…?

In sports on April 22, 2006 at 5:30 pm

This is too hilarious to miss….
http://sport.iafrica.com/columns/dan_world/251813.htm

G(6-1) Reunion

In ISB, life on April 20, 2006 at 8:07 pm

The first G6 reunion in B’bay was all of the things every G6 meet in Hyderabad was…good food…even better conversation. Except that it wasn’t quite all of us and hence can’t be called an official reunion, therefore the title. K was missing (latest reports from campus suggest he really wasn’t missing anything ;). S and I met up to pick S at the airport, needless to say the wait for him to emerge was probably longer than the duration of his flight from Pune. He was to spend the night at his friend’s place, and hence we decided on early refreshments at this mexican sounding lounge. Its gonna take me longer to remember all the new places in B’bay. C and V joined us as S shopped for a suitcase big enough to hold the contents of his ‘carry on’ (talk abt understatement!). The usual banter as we looked to convince C that Chennai was more happening than B’bay cud ever hope to be and why he should take the Citi Ops role there. Finally deposited S at his friend’s (for what was s’possed to be a dinner outing) and meeting adjourned with future meeting dates specified…’Solstice’ and the Dubai Shopping Festival…There’s a reason why leaving that campus for good sucked…just had dinner with a large part of it…

With great power…

In blah, Superhero, top 10 on April 20, 2006 at 10:46 am

comes…no..not great responsibility….but a humongous power bill..so turn the damn lights off!

“Only three others share the secret…Our friend the Sorceress, Man-At-Arms and Orko…” if none of that made any sense, that might be the cue for you to skip this post 🙂

Before there were nerdy-looking adolescents brandishing twigs to defeat all forms of evil, things were done in the proper manner, by troubled young-men with extraordinary physical strength and other ‘super’ powers.

For those who partook of a steady diet of Marvel and Indrajal…my top four in ascending order goes….:)

Wolverine

Real Name James Howlett, now Logan
Alias Weapon X
Occupation Former CIA Operative
Base Unknown
Affiliation X-Men
First Sighted Marvel 1974
Claim to fame
A mutant with extraordinary strength owing to a skeleton laced with unbreakable metal alloy, resulting from being an unwitting guinea-pig in a secret government military program. Given to beserker rages in combat, his feral instincts mean that he is most likely to permanently deal with adversaries. Inspite of a quicksilver temper, Wolverine has been descitbed as a warrior poet with an iron will. His mortal enemy is his half-brother known as Sabretooth

The Incredible Hulk

Real Name Robert Bruce Banner
Alias Mr. Fixit, Professor, Green Behemoth
Occupation Nuclear Physicist
Base Dayton, Ohio
Affiliation Pantheon, Avengers
First Sighted Marvel 1962
Claim to fame
The mightiest mortal to ever walk the earth. Mortals fear him, Gods respect him. Having buried his emotions arising at the hands of an abusive father, Bruce, is gamma-irradiated when attempting to save a civilian who mistakenly enters the nuclear testing facility. The Hulk represents the mortal fear of every human being; within everyone lies great, destructive rage and egotism, capable of shambolic destruction

The Phantom

Real Name Christopher Walker
Alias Ghost Who Walks
Occupation Guardian of the Eastern Dark
Base Skull Cave – Bangalla
Affiliation The Jungle Patrol
First Sighted Feb 1936
Claim to fame
The original masked superhero. Legend has it that generations of the Phantom gave rise to the alias “Man who cannot die”. Kit Walker is the 21st Phantom and has no ‘supernatural’ powers, but rather relies on his skills as a horseman, marksman and a fighter. His helpers, a mountain-wolf ‘Devil’, his white stallion ‘Hero’ and ‘Fraka’ the falcon. His prowess has given rise to ‘old jungle sayings’ like “Phantom’s anger chills tiger’s blood”, “Great cat is quick, Phantom is quicker”

Spider-Man

Real Name Peter Parker
Alias Friendly neighborhood Spider-Man
Occupation Photographer – Daily Bugle
Base Manhattan
Affiliation Avengers
First Sighted Marvel Aug 1962
Claim to fame
The son of secret agents of agency S.H.I.E.L.D, Peter’s parents were killed by Red Skull and was raised by his uncle Ben and aunt May. A shy introverted teenager, he gained his powers on being bitten by an irradiated spider. His dual identity has him pay dearly with the death of girlfriend Gwen Stacy, though he has various love-interests culminating in the lovely Mary-Jane Watson. Apart from superior athleticism and the ability to shoot webs, his most potent weapon is a sixth sense that activates and alerts him to threats.

Feel free to share your top 3/4. And yeah, that second line indicates the secret that the most powerful man in the universe and the guardian of Eternia is in fact the rather colorless Prince Adam.

Equilibrium

In life on April 16, 2006 at 10:14 pm

Saw this darkish wisp in the sky…looked like a curl of smoke…except that this was kinda strange…coz it was way up and also stationary in the sky. Then realised that it was actually a cloud, the cause for the mistaken identity, the fact that it was solitary. Apart from this one which appeared like an errant brush stroke on an otherwise unmarked canvas, the sky was completely clear. A cloud that wouldn’t have received a second glance, had it been part of this bank of clouds moving across the sky in an unhurried fashion.

Ok, so, before i lapse into poetry, the significance was how its an apt metaphor…and surprisingly…for more lives than I’d think. Strange how so many minds seem to be in that state of limbo, wheels still spinning from the constant blur of activity of the past year, life now seems almost comatose in comparison. And its not like there’s nothing happening, there’s catching up to do…with friends and family, places to revisit, memories to refresh. Not to mention gearing up for the next phase; apartments to locate, roles to think about (that reminds me, i better read a couple of the IT related bulkpacks after having pretended to be a Marketing man all year). At the very least, that stint at school seems to’ve given everyone the confidence of being able to get through a gazillion tasks in less than the time it takes to say “multi-task!”

Lunch at a family friend’s newly renovated place. Easter lunch…consisting of spicy Mutton Biryani washed down with excellent wine, quite the combination 🙂 The other guests included relatives from Minnesota, so swapped stories about the twin cities and bitched about Chicago…the good ol’ times…lol. Got asked how I managed to stay single after my time there…oh well..its a rare skill.

Dinner with friends…catching up on the past year of each of our lives..its amazing how much has happened in that blink of the proverbial eye. Also got a taste of things to come. One flew in for the long weekend from B’lore, another from M’lore, to fly back first thing on the morrow. But even in that rather ‘corporate’ of settings, it was back to rounds of info-sharing, leg-pulling and serious advice-mongering, not necessarily in that order. But something tells me this is gonna be one of those constants I’ll bank on for years to come. Nice 🙂

G6: The Code

In ISB on April 15, 2006 at 12:03 pm

As we speak, a horde of fresh-faced newbies is registering at the LRC counter and trying to distinguish between the identical looking Student Villages and looking hopelessly at the rather unhelpful towers to find the way to their allotted quads. To think, some smartass would be shamelessly intruding in the 2nd village in the 12th room in H-block. The runt might even be walking around that quad with some sense of ownership by now! In fact, its possible that all four occupants might now be in there thinking G6 HQ actually belongs to them! Only if we’d followed through on my idea to booby-trap the place when we left! Darn it!
Come to think of it, one glaring error on our part was to not have nailed a ‘Code of Conduct’ to the living room wall. Guess it’d go something like…
G6 CODE OF CONDUCT
You have been bestowed with membership to an elite cabal and your conduct should at all times be fitting a member of this group

Acad Centre

  1. One of your primary duties on campus is to make sure the catering outfit (Sarovar in our case) remains profitable always. You will use any and all means necessary to ensure this, be it by spending approximately 4-5 hours in the cafe ordering beverages and food. Quality of food is never to be questioned
  2. You shall be the good samaritan who allows his batchmates to obtain morale-boosting points on the CGPA curve
  3. You shall not spend inordinate amounts of time in your room (this ties in with #2 above). Any time available should be spent in the cafe or other locations as will follow

Parties

  1. Turn up at every party, be it an elaborate GSB shindig or a beer ‘n’ chips, BYOB affair. This is non-negotiable
  2. You shall stay till the last song has been played and leave only when the DJ has disconnected the speakers
  3. You shall make every attempt to use up the entire stock of alcohol available at the bar. Your batchmates will help, but take responsibility.
  4. No amount of booze in one party excuses you from being absent or late for the party the next day. In the event of parties on consecutive days, prepare in advance with ample sleep, cutting classes is one way of doing that

Hyderabad City

  1. Hectic schedules aside, you will make weekly trips to various establishments in the city; BnC, Liquids, Waterfront…to name a few
  2. Your responsibility to Hyderabad’s economy is second only to your duties to Sarovar. When not in the cafe, you should ideally be in the above mentioned joints

The less-important stuff

  1. Submissions happen. You can either start worrying about them a week before they’re due or 7 hrs before. As G6, you shall follow the latter, Always.
  2. You shall not get your knickers in a twist over assignments, individual or group. Its not an offence punishable by death to get an answer or two wrong
  3. You will not attempt suicide on learning that you took the wrong discount-rate in the Corp Fin end-term problem though many around you will convince you otherwise
  4. LCM is a valid major

‘Aspire’ to ‘Discover’ and to ‘Star’

In advertising, blah on April 15, 2006 at 7:52 am

It was bound to happen, am surprised it took this long though. 4 years ago, you wanted a motorcycle (bike), your options were the ever-dependable (read boring to some) Hero Honda Splendor; the solidly ‘unshakeable’ Bajaj Caliber, the undermarketed but excellent Suzuki Fiero or the Yamaha line, that had lost a lot its sex appeal once they discontinued the sensational RX100. Of course, there was the Bullet, but then you had to have testosterone oozing out of your ears to get on that one or so it seemed.

Before moving on, try naming 5 bikes in the market today(brands, not just manufacturers)…see…had a hard time? I for one only had silly images of nerds on brooms and unshaven louts stuck on top of mountains with pigeons crapping on their shoulder (ok myabe it was an eagle). After slicing and super-slicing each segment down to “that segment that’s 18 years and 4 months old, prefers wheat bread over white and is a virgin” and accordingly launching and positioning new bikes, and also following it up with that bike for “the 19 yr old male who’s just shaved off his goatee and got himself a girlfriend”, major 2-wheeler anufacturers in India seem to’ve realised its a lost cause. At the end of the day, its a 2-wheeled contraption powered by a puny engine that gets people from point A to point B. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been in Harley country and to a grizzled and tattooed rider, his Heritage Soft-tail classic is more kin than a mode of transport. But theres only so much you can do to dress up that same 100cc engine.
Finally, these manufacturers have looked at that untapped market of the female rider. Hence the Hero Honda Pleasure, Bajaj Wave and the TVS Scooty Pepplus. These aren’t the dinky l’il mopeds that were l’il more than battery-powered bicycles. All the above are 90CC and above, meaning almost as powerful as the average bike. Its the catch-lines that seem to almost challenge the male of the species thats interesting. The Pleasure commercial goes with a background score that goes “Why should boys have all the fun?”. Various scenes of women of different ages (no slicing and dicing here) enjoying their mobility. Great idea, but then it ends with a scene that leaves noone in doubt about the sex of the person who directed the commercial.
The scene…Pretty woman standing on the kerb, a dude type character in a convertible brakes next to her and offers a ride. She smiles sweetly and at the same time her equally pretty friend rounds the corner on a ‘Pleasure’ (funny choice of name) and lady 1 hops on. They both give the guy smiles and zoom off. Two issues: a) why’d the ladies look a l’il too cozy sitting on their ride…and the smile suggested they don’t ‘need’ the guy? are we there yet? (b) in case anyone noticed, the guy was driving a porsche cabriolet…err..nothing significant except by what it costs, u can probably get about a 100 odd of those dinky scooters. So, now that girls have finally made it to riding not-so-underpowered rides, guys are already that far ahead?
Just observations about the commercial itself…idea was right…but the implementation?

War and Peace

In ISB, life on April 13, 2006 at 6:27 pm

I think of this as my first post as a civilian. Makes sense, considering I’d first started blogging from SV2-H12 in the ISB fortress. The similarities are uncanny; demanding and regimented schedules, the mess food in the dining hall and the casualties (well, shouldn’t really count the odd nervous-breakdown as those).
Have gotten over the ‘jet-lag’ of moving from ISB time to the regular 24-hr day and long snoozes and leisurely meals have helped make that transition. A few trips around the ol’ neighborhood, meeting friends I hadn’t seen in a long time, even enrolled in a gym. Was kinda bemused as my first workout was supervised by this trainer who wouldn’t let me lift anything heavier than a sandwich, atleast till he observed the thoroughly bored expression on my face.
Some other friends coming down from B’lore et al this weekend, so, looking forward to some catching up. From the interaction with a few batchmates, seems everyone’s struggling to cope with post-school blues. Guess its the drastic change of pace thats thrown everyone out of stride.
Guess it’ll all work itself out…soon…
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